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Thread: Manwe & Morgoth

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Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Silmarillion > Manwe & Morgoth   << [1] [2]
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"Melkor must be made far more powerful in original nature (cf. 'Finrod and Andreth'). The greatest power under Eru (sc. the greatest created power). (He was to make/ devise / begin; ManwŰ (a little less great) was to improve, carry out, complete.)
Later, he must not be able to be controlled or 'chained' by all the Valar combined. Note that in the early age of Arda he was alone able to drive the Valar out of Middle-earth into retreat."

Yet, it only took Tulkas to drive him out of Arda again; not to mention, to defeat him in a wrestling match and throw him on his face.

Of course, no 'dark lord' in JRRT's works ever was a great warrior. The way Morgoth tried to topple Fingolfin, was ludicrous and made me think of Confucius : "Do not use a cannon to kill a fly".
Power is not the same thing as Might, to begin with. I don't think that Tulkas's being the most powerful Vala is an option, so it is important to understand what is at stake in his defeat of Melkor.

In the first match between Tulkas and Morgoth, at the outset of Arda, nothing really happens. Melkor just flees. And this is after Melkor had fought with Valar, destroying the lands they had fashioned. Before Tulkas, Melkor "for long had the upper hand" against the rest of the Valar.

The second match again sees no action, though again Morgoth flees and hides (though perhaps we might also see this as the Valar's understanding that they cannot defeat him in his fortress). And once again, this comes after Morgoth destroys the entire habitation of the Valar (though his wit is largely responsible for this).

And by the time Tulkas wrestled him around the time of the coming of the Elves, Morgoth had already disseminated his power to an extent, and was thus open to individual assault. (One might wonder if Melkor's being caught was similar to Sauron's imprisonment by the Numenoreans--which Tolkien explicitly says was in part because Sauron allowed it, knowing that it would come to his use. Though that is another issue in itself).
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Melkor just flees. And this is after Melkor had fought with Valar, destroying the lands they had fashioned. Before Tulkas, Melkor "for long had the upper hand" against the rest of the Valar.

To me, the first war of the Valar merely consisted of Melkor destroying and marring everything that the Valar built. As it's easier to destroy than to create, no wonder that he was on the winning hand.

But why did Melkor flee, when he was winning the battle? It seems that Melkor throughout the history of Arda, avoided any direct confrontation (which Tulkas sought) at all costs (safe once, against Fingolfin, although even then he was reluctant).

Melkor was the most powerful Vala, yet his power was distributed among many abilities as it were, as he shared in all the gifts of his brethren. Does this makes him a better craftsman than AulŰ? No. A better warrior than Tulkas? No. Etc.
He had many talents, instead of excelling in one; yet in one talent only he could not surpass any of his brethren.

For example : say that Melkor had recieved 1000 kW of power from Eru; and say that 10% of this power was distributed into "might" - which makes 100 kW. Say now that Tulkas consisted of 500 kW pure might : this means that Tulkas was able to defeat Melkor in a direct confrontation, no matter the total amount of Melkor's inherent power.
Miruvor - I definitely agree. And I think your little analogy at the end is rather illustrative of how it works (though one might find it difficult to think of power in such an explicitly fragmented fashion).
Manwe has always failed in comprehending evil.Neither is he the wisest and most powerful of the Ainur...(Melkor/Morgoth-Most Powerful,Ulmo-Wisest)...Manwe was only the dearest to Illuvatar since only he understood most clearly the themes of Illuvatar.This made Manwe the noblest of the Valar.It was for this reaon he was the King Of Arda...not because of might but purity,loyalty and nobility...
Morgoth differed from Manwe a lot.It was jelousy that led him to his state.Observing the other Valar's contributions,he was not pleased,being jealous of how they understood Illuvatar so well and shaped the world in such splendour.He was power-hungry,he had a great ambition to have his own "kingdom","to have his own people(Aule possessed the same personality but none regarded Aule as evil)".He probably developed this desire as he adored the power of Illuvatar so much that he wanted to be just like him.But he failed to attain the flame imperishable.Moreover,he could not persuade the other Valar to join him,they could provide him better aid as they were more powerful than his balrogs,than Sauron.So,he had to oppose them,he had to destroy their creations...he wanted Arda for his own...he wanted Arda to be how he wanted to be...Morgoth was not born evil...Things that happened to him made him what who he was...Since he had such a strong ambiton,he desired it so badly that he became evil...None of the Valar knew fear except for him...this shows that he comprehended things that others couldn't...he had a great mind and great power but an incredilbly strong-will which made him what he is.
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Manwe has always failed in comprehending evil.Neither is he the wisest and most powerful of the Ainur...(Melkor/Morgoth-Most Powerful,Ulmo-Wisest)...Manwe was only the dearest to Illuvatar since only he understood most clearly the themes of Illuvatar.

How would understanding most clearly Il˙vatar's themes not make ManwŰ the most wisest Vala?

You make it sound as if being dear to the One is something trivial, something minor.

The other Valar had perhaps more 'wisdom' in their own particular domain, but ManwŰ had more wisdom as a whole. This is why he truly was the King of Kings.

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Things that happened to him made him what who he was...

No, he (=Melkor) became evil because he chose his own desires over Il˙vatar's will. He did not become evil out of some accident. It was his own choosing.
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